The Weekend Shortlist August 31 to September 2
Friday August 31
If you haven’t experiences the Gospel Queens of Brooklyn you are missing out as it’s like going to church . . .minus the religion and skipping to the great music. Dinner before a show like this should be just as awesome. Check out Tortilla Flats. The food is Mexican and delicious, but it’s the insanity within (bingo and hula-hoop nights) that is the real calling for this place. For drinks afterwards, hit the White Horse Tavern, a great bar and the old haunting grounds for Dylan Thomas. If you somehow have time before all of this, stop by Magnolia Bakery for some of the best tasting cupcakes in the city.
Friday August 31
One of the most inventive groups around today, The Burnt Sugar Repertory Arkestra blend the avant-garde with funk and everything else under the sun they can grab onto. The band is conducted by Greg Tate & Vernon Reid, and features Maya Azucena along with top notch musicians performing a JB, Steely, Ra, Jimi, Bowie, Miles, Van Peebles, BS Monsta-Mosh. A little known sushi joint, Koo Sushi offers affordable and fantastic fish with an impressive number of specialty rolls. For a bar that looks like any other, Blind Tiger Ale House offers an impressive number of beers including draught, bottled, cask and one called Louise’s Bloody Beer. Try it if you dare! If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Peanut Butter & Co., offers some PB heavy hitters like the Elvis, a PB, banana, and bacon sandwich that tastes better than it sounds.
Saturday September 1
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Photo: Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche
Show time: See website for schedule; Through September 2, 2012
Venue: International Center of Photography
Food: Zip Burger
Drink: Subway Inn
Miscellaneous: Kinokuniya Bookstore
Christer Strömholm (1918–2002) was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, but he is little known outside of his native Sweden. The exhibition Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche presents his most powerful and acclaimed body of work: Les Amies de Place Blanche, a documentation of transsexual “ladies of the night” in Paris in the 1960s. At Zip Burger they offer farm-raised, organic, and grass-fed meat and poultry, letting you build your own burger with plenty of gourmet toppings. The first time I went to Subway Inn I thought it was completely strange that there was a dive bar off Lexington Avenue, especially in this neck of the woods, but somehow it works. Born in the 30s, this bar has somehow remained, and thank god, as it’s easily the cheapest place in the area for a drink. For fans of Japanese pop-culture, Kinokuniya Bookstore has a large selection of Japanese themed books, videos, CDs, magazines, comics, and stationary.
Saturday September 1
Relive the best and worst of coming of age in high school at The Awesome 80s Prom. This interactive show is part musical and full-on party as the audience gets to drink, dance and vote for the Prom King and Queen. For eats, check out Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar, a sandwich shop offering Thai sandwiches with 7 Steamed Fried Vegetables and a choice of chicken, veggie, tofu or beef on a baguette with 3 types of sauces for $7. One of the city’s oldest bars, at McSorley’s Old Ale House you can feel the history when you enter as memorabilia, since its beginnings in 1854, are all over the walls. Aside from it being a frat hangout nowadays, it’s worth the trip. You’ve seen that orange Mudd coffee truck parked on Astor Place and on various other streets, but check out their Mudd Cafe on East 9th for coffee and a healthy, vegan, and vegetarian menu.
Sunday September 2
Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Art: Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History
Show time: See website for schedule; Through September 2
Venue: New York Historical Society
Food: Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar
Drink: Café des Artistes
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery
The exhibition Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History takes a look at the social, economic, political, and technological history of the production and consumption of beer, ale, and porter in New York City from the seventeenth century to the present. Fondue lovers, Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar is the place to go and the menu is just as extensive as its wine. It’s romantic and cheesy. Get it! Café des Artistes is one of those old historic bars that’s as New York as it gets. This bar/restaurant was the meeting place of artists going all the way back to 1917. Today, it serves up new American dishes and cocktails to those in the know. To soothe your sweet tooth, check the uptown location of Magnolia Bakery and sink your teeth into one of the city’s best cupcakes.